Last of the tree-sitters

We've had four straight days of helicopters circling endlessly overhead.

It's been going on for almost two years.
The University in its dubious wisdom decided to build a humungous sports complex.
Well, they've got money to burn (not!), and what could be more important (faculty salaries in a high cost-of-living area, perhaps? libraries facing spiraling costs? a crumbling physical plant? oh don't be silly)?

So where do they decide to put this?
Not on the downtown side of campus: ya know, near transit, and where there are streets and all? where there is encroaching blight and open storefronts.
(Sorry, Mayor Bates, but you seem to maybe suck)
No, they stick it up next to the old stadium.
The one perched directly on an earthquake fault.
And served by twisty narrow streets.
(The same twisty narrow kind of streets that killed people in the Hills Fire – cos equipment can't get up them, and traffic can't get down.)
Good place to add a huge new facility.

So having made one big stooopid decision, as icing on the sundae, they randomly set it up so that a grove of protected Coast Oaks. (and redwoods, big ones) will be cut down.
Not that the construction demands it; things could be set up to preserve the trees with no impact on the final result.
They just didn't feel like doing it that way.
And they are the University, and don't have to listen to anyone at all.

So the tree sitters.
There are community groups – they are putting this big mother of a complex pretty much on top of an unwilling local community.
People pay millions for houses up on those twisty streets, and they weren't really thinking of the sports facility as their desired view.
 One of the first group of sitters included our former major – a feisty lady – about three feet tall and in her eighties.

So I gather they are cutting down the last redwood around the last few tree sitters.

I may leave the last words to Sair, from London:

 Well. At least I feel better about my choice of NYU now. should
probably send the Berkeley folks a letter of thanks for calming my
uncertainties by being such complete fucktards.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. I would have loved to see the tree sitter while I was there. Rats!
    And having just been there, here's my outsider's opinion. I totally agree that if they are to build a new stadium, it makes total sense to put it closer to the town and to transit.
    It would benefit the storefronts with extra foot traffic and patronage. Steve and I would have stopped to eat ahead of time if there was anything close by. We did eat at… Barney's? on the way back. Once we FINALLY made it back to main drag.
    I feel I can only weigh in on that, because that was all I was exposed to. It doesn't make a great deal of sense to have it so very, very, very far away with no good ingress/egress options. At least that's what I noticed on our long walk back to town.

    Reply

  2. Especially after the fire.They know those hill streets are a danger…been there, done that.

    Reply

  3. I was wondering if that's what the helicopter business was all about. What a bad call on the University's part. Seriously bad call.

    Reply

  4. Cheers to the tree sitters. I hope they can attract enough attention to pressure the uni to make right.

    Reply

  5. Long live Tree Huggers 'n Dirt Worshippers!
    Boo shtoopid developers.
    Next time, try pouring boiling oil & hot pitch on them.
    But at least other trees are being kept safe http://www.nature.org/.

    Reply

  6. *sigh* So horribly stupid – and disappointing. I expected more of the university. I almost went to grad school there. In fact, if I had chosen Berkeley I'd probably still be there, so I guess it's a good thing that I didn't.

    Reply

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